Measuring 3,300 square meters, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay's pool is the biggest on the island.
It is a multi-level pool that sits at the center of the resort, just a few steps away from the white sand beach of Punta Bunga cove.
The lagoon-like pool is surrounded by lush greenery and the resort's dining outlets, and white lounge chairs are strategically placed at different areas around it.
Even if there are guests using it, the pool constantly looks empty because of its size.
That is the general feel around Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay. It doesn't look crowded on the five-star resort, which sits on a 3.4-hectare property, despite having 312 rooms.
And being located in an area away from the main White Beach, it is a secluded hideaway far from the all the island action. It shares the partially exclusive cove with neighboring resorts Shangri-La and Crimson.
"This is a large property with 312 rooms. We have the third largest property on the island, and that's sometimes our struggle," shared Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay's new general manager, André Brulhart.
The upkeep of such a property can be a challenge, but the resort has more than 300 staff to compensate for its size.
Brulhart is happy to report that since Boracay's reopening last October 2018, guest arrivals have picked up, with the bulk of bookings coming from China, South Korea, and the domestic market.
"Since we reopened in October, it has been very good. We really did not expect. January and February were excellent," he said.
Unknown to many, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay has been open to the public since October 2017, with its grand launch held in January 2018. Unfortunately, the whole of Boracay was closed to the public for rehabilitation three months later.
The property has been under the Mövenpick brand since 2015. It used to be Club Panoli which opened in the 80s, then became Sol Marina Resort before being rebranded for the Swiss hospitality company.
Mövenpick, in turn, was recently acquired by the French company Accor Hotels.
A GREEN HIDEAWAY
Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay made sure that it stands out from its neighbors. Aside from the pool, its distinctive feature is the lush landscape with towering coconut trees.
The family-friendly resort is a collection of mid-rise buildings that sit on the foot of the hills looking out the sea. The rooms are divided into eight categories, ranging from smallest Classic Room at 27 square meters to the largest Sol Marina Villa at 370 square meters.
The rooms follow a modern yet classic resort design, using light-colored wood furniture and brightly colored accents in teal, lime green, and orange. Other amenities include a spa called Sagay, a kids' club, gym and salon.
ONE OF THE BEST PIZZAS IN BORACAY
One of the resort’s pride is its dining outlets. Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay has a total of seven restaurants and bars which include the buffet spot The Market, Asian restaurant Ssam, Italian eatery Brezza, The Café, Fun Pub, Pool Bar, and Sol Marina Beach Club.
Brezza makes one of – if not the best pizzas – in Boracay. The restaurant's Neapolitan brick oven from Italy can cook pizza in 90 seconds or less, with Italian chef Francesco Leone using only semolina flour and other imported ingredients.
Must-try dishes here include the Quattro Formaggi Pizza or the four-cheese pizza, the authentic Spaghetti Carbonara (no cream!), and the Seafood Pasta.
Every day at 4 p.m., Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay celebrates "Chocolate Hour" where The Café offers a spread of truffles, bars, and other treats. This is a complimentary offering exclusive to resort guests.
"What sets us apart is really the location and the product itself. You have three full-blown restaurants and other outlets. You literally don't need to leave the resort. That's our biggest asset. And we're a bit hidden away," Brulhart said.
SUSTAINABILITY AND THE FUTURE
Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay is one of the resorts on the island that has fully complied with the government's environment policies ever since it opened. It manages its own sewage treatment plant and waste material recovery facility.
But the resort is still in the process of going fully sustainable, especially with the additional rules set by the government. While it started to eliminate the use of single use plastic, it is still transitioning from the recent changes.
"We're still the the process of eliminating all single-use plastics. We’re not where we should be because it's difficult to get supplies. We're part of Accor now, so we can get supplies from Accor suppliers. In Boracay, you're not supposed to use single-use plastic," the general manager explained.
With road repairs yet to be finished, resorts and all other businesses in Boracay are still trying to get back on track. Some markets are coming back to the island, while others are looking at other destinations.
"Our target market is a combination of European and Asian. But at the moment, with the condition of the island, the European market does not quite accept that the island is still not quite finished. There are people who came here and complained that driving from the port to the hotel is like driving through Syria. It's a lot better now compared to when they reopened back in October," Brulhart said.
But Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay is optimistic about the future. Boracay is, after all, still a beautiful destination. The beach and waters of the island are still one of the world’s best.
"We're optimistic. And we're looking at Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong which we haven't really tapped into yet, and they have big potential as well. It's mainly Asian markets because they're so much closer than the European and American [guests]," Brulhart said.